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Local sheriffs will not enforce private gathering limits

Nov 24, 2020 2:30 pm
Sarah Trafton and Natasha Vaughn are reporting for Columbia-Greene Media Columbia County Sheriff David Bartlett and Greene County Sheriff Pete Kusminsky have added their names to the list of New York sheriffs to declare their departments will not enforce Governor Andrew Cuomo's 10-person limit on private gatherings. The restrictions went into effect November 13, along with regulations for gyms and establishments licensed by the state Liquor Authority to close by 10 p.m. “The Greene County Sheriff’s Office is not going to be actively enforcing executive orders regarding gatherings in people’s homes,” Kusminsky said in a statement. “We do not have the resources or inclination to peep into everyone’s home to see how many people are at the dinner table.” Entering a private residence would require a search warrant, Kusminsky said. He said enforcement raises several constitutional questions. The sheriff’s office is not encouraging residents to have large gatherings, Kusminsky added. Barlett said his office will not be enforcing the mandate either. “Columbia County Sheriff’s Office will not be participating in the enforcement of New York State’s Thanksgiving gathering restrictions,” Bartlett said in a statement. “We hope that everyone will be mindful of the current health pandemic as we enter the holiday season. Enjoy this time with your families.” New York State Sheriffs’ Association has taken a similar stance on the new restrictions. “We do not know if the Governor’s limit on home gatherings to ten individuals is the right number or not,” said association deputy executive director Charles J. Gallo, in a statement. “That is a decision for science, not us, to make. ...” Read more at HudsonValley360 [dot] com.